Portrait of Stacey Hancock

Stacey Hancock

Stacey Hancock, an assistant professor of statistics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, won the Excellence in Open Education Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who reduces barriers to education by using open information and resources in the classroom. It is sponsored by the MSU Library and comes with a $2,000 honorarium.

Hancock has been involved in efforts to develop middle school coding curriculum as part of Montana’s Indian Education for All, and to teach data science literacy courses to all levels across campus. She has served or will serve as the program chair of the education component for three major statistics conferences: the 2021 Symposium on Statistics and Data Science, the 2019 Joint Statistical Meetings Section on Statistics and Data Science Education, and the 2017 Mathematical Association of America Special Interest Group on Statistics Education.

But much of her impact traces back to one course, Introduction to Statistics. During the last academic year, there were 37 sections of the course and 1505 enrolled students. More than 10% of all undergraduate students will take STAT 216 in a given year.

“With over 1,500 students per year, availability of a free, open access software has a massive impact on MSU students,” stated Andrew Hough in a nominating letter on behalf of the Department of Mathematical Sciences Award Committee.

As course supervisor for STAT 216, Hancock adapted an open-source textbook for the curriculum and designed case studies, course videos and in-class activities with collaborators Nicole Carnegie, Elijah Meyer, Jade Schmidt and Melinda Yager.

Assuming a textbook costs around $100, the statistics coursebook “collectively saves students around $150,000 a year,” Hough stated. “Stacey’s effort to create and share OER materials deserves recognition.”